Skip to main content

Making a Tea for Groups

Making a Tea for Groups

The following recipe is a wonderful way to make tea for many people, just in time for your holiday gatherings! You can even make this concentrate ahead of time to keep things extra convenient and stress-free!

Estimating the Number of Cups of Tea and Determining the Amount of Loose Tea and Water

Start by asking yourself the following questions to best prepare for your event:

1. What is the length of the event?  The longer the event, the more tea will be consumed.

2. Are other beverages being offered? If you are also serving water, coffee, lemonade or any other beverage, this will reduce the amount of tea consumed.

3. How will the tea be served? At a "sit-down tea" guests consume much more tea than at a “tea reception."  For example, at The Cultured Cup's "Sit Down" tea class, where only tea is offered as a beverage, 20 people consume almost 5 gallons of tea in just over two hours, That translates into an average of five cups consumed per person - an enormous amount of tea. If your guests consume three to five cups per person, that is a lot of tea. Estimate on the high side.

4. How many guests do you anticipate?

5. How many cups of tea do you estimate each person will drink?

6. Determine the TOTAL number of cups needed.  Use the answers from the questions 4 and 5. Multiply the number of guests by the number of estimated cups each person will drink. 

Use the following chart to help you know how much loose tea and filtered water will be needed:

Number of 6 ounce Cups Needed

Measurement of Loose-Leaf Tea Needed

Weight Equivalent of Tea Needed in Ounces (rounded)

Amount of Filtered or Spring Water Needed


3 Tablespoons

1 oz

60 oz (about ½ gallon)


½ Cup

2 oz

150 oz (about 1¼ gallon) 


1 Cup

4 oz

300 oz (about 2⅓ gallon)


1½ Cup

6 oz

450 oz (about 3½ gallon)


2 Cups

8 oz

600 oz (about 4⅔ gallon)


Directions for Preparing Tea Concentrate

Items needed for this recipe:

  • Two stainless or enameled stockpots with lids. Do not use aluminum.
  • Filtered or spring water
  • A good-quality, loose-leaf tea (not packed)
  • Two heavily insulated hot pad mitts
  • Large stainless steel or wooden spoon
  • A large mesh colander or sieve lined with rinsed culinary cheesecloth or unfolded paper coffee filters
  • A stainless-steel soup ladle


  1. Several hours before the event, bring half of the water to a boil in one of the stockpots. Tip: If you are making a large amount of tea, use two large kettles for the tea concentrate and two additional kettles for the remaining hot water. Doing this will enable you to more easily pour the tea concentrate through the colander.
  2. Immediately after the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat source.
  3. Add all the tea to the stockpot. 
  4. Stir tea with a large spoon and cover the pot.
  5. Steep tea for 4½  minutes. Do not over-steep the tea.
  6. While tea is steeping, line a large mesh colander with several layers of rinsed cheesecloth or paper coffee filters.
  7. Rest the lined mesh colander into a second stockpot.
  8. Wearing hot pad mitts, carefully and slowly pour tea concentrate through the colander. Cover tea concentrate.
  9. A half hour before the event, bring the other half of the water to boil in a clean stockpot.
  10. If necessary, you may put the tea-concentrate stockpot on the lowest stove setting.
  11. To serve tea, ladle equal portions of tea concentrate and boiling water into warmed teapots. 


NOTE: This recipe can easily be multiplied for larger events.



Be the first to comment.
All comments are moderated before being published.